Learn to Paint Realistic Watercolor Butterflies | Anne Butera | Skillshare

Learn to Paint Realistic Watercolor Butterflies

Anne Butera, watercolor artist, pattern designer

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9 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Finding Butterfly Inspiration

    • 3. Supplies

    • 4. Practice Sketching

    • 5. Choosing a Subject and Mixing Paint

    • 6. Painting a Blue Butterfly

    • 7. Painting a Red Butterfly

    • 8. Painting a Green Butterfly

    • 9. Your Project


About This Class

Butterflies are some of the most beautiful and magical visitors to my garden, always bringing me joy with their presence. They also lend themselves beautifully to watercolor and make striking illustrations when rendered realistically.


In this class I will share:

  • How/where I find inspiration/subjects/models for painting realistic watercolor butterfly illustrations
  • The materials I use for my watercolor paintings
  • Tips for sketching to help you get a feel for the shapes/patterns of butterflies
  • How to choose subjects so you'll be most successful and how to mix paint to match
  • My process for painting butterflies with watercolor:
    • Creating an initial sketch on the watercolor paper
    • Preparing the sketched paper for paint
    • Putting down initial color washes
    • Adding details
    • Finishing the painting

This class is designed to give beginning watercolorists the confidence and skills to be successful at painting realistic butterfly illustrations.


1. Introduction: I on the artist behind the website and log my giant strawberry. I love inspiring you to embrace your creativity and discover your joy in this class. I'm going to share one of my favorite subjects to paint butterfly butterflies, air beautiful subjects, their magical garden visitors. And although they might look a little complicated, they're not so hard to paint in this class. I'll help you get started learning how to create beautiful paintings. We're going to look for inspiration. We'll do some sketching and then we'll get busy painting. If you'd like to start paying realistic watercolor butterflies yourself, I'll see you in the first lesson and we'll get started. 2. Finding Butterfly Inspiration: My favorite way to paint is with my national subject in front of me. I love painting flowers, but unlike flowers where I can go out to my garden, cut one, bring one into my studio and paint from that butterflies are a little more complicated, Although bringing live butterflies into my studio to paint from won't quite work. I love to collect bits of nature I find when I'm out of my walks. At times I found bodies of butterflies and bring the fragile bits into my studio, and I can work from them. Another option, of course, is to take photographs of butterflies, since they often don't sit still, it's hard to get clear photos, but if you're patient, sometimes you're rewarded and you can use those photographs. Toe work from something else that works great is using a butterfly reference book. You can use an encyclopedia or a field guide and use its images as inspiration for your art . There are so many different types of butterfly with many color shape and pattern variations . The photos in such a reference book give you nearly endless inspiration and subjects for your painting. Of course, the Internet provides many many resource is that you can use for inspiration for your art. I've included some in the handouts as well as giving you information about copyright, which you'll want to keep in mind as well. In the next lesson will talk about supplies. I'll see you there. 3. Supplies: made. It wouldn't start by just talking about the supplies that I'm going to be using in this class and the types of supplies you'll need for doing your own paintings. First off, you're gonna need a sketchbook. I have a bunch of different sketchbooks for different purposes. Watercolor sketch book is great for You can do your painting. Is it here? But I like to use a watercolor sketch book for testing out colors and doing quick little drawings. Seeing how the colors mixed together, you'll also probably want a sketchbook that you can do drawings on with either pen or markers or pencil. I like the this cancer in extra large mixed media book the papers really nice, and it accepts a lot of different types of media. The paper you're gonna need for painting some watercolor paper. I like to work on watercolor blocks that are taped down on all four sides. They're easy to work on, and they don't buckle as much as loose sheets like the arches. That's probably my favorite I've used in the most. I also like this new cancer and heritage paper. It works really well. You're gonna need some paint. I have a few different types of pan watercolors. If you have tubes, definitely use those. You don't have to go out and buy different kinds. Paint. I just prefer the pans. Use any brand that you have or that you like. I'll mention some brands in the handouts, for you could need some brushes. Variety of sizes is good. He'll need sort of a larger size. This one is the 12 on, and then you'll need some small ones for doing details. This is, Ah, little spotter and then some middle size as long as you have. Ah, large one and something that's pretty small. Whatever else is fine. You'll need a palette for mixing your paints. You can use a big plastic pallet like this one that I have a small ceramic palette. Even a plate or dish would work fine on then. Um, you'll need water in a jar. Try and keep your water as clean as possible if you prefer working with loose sheets of paper. If you want to do just a single butterfly on peas, small little scraps are perfect for that. I need a pencil for sketching out your design on you're watercolor paper and a kneaded eraser is great for lightning, the lines that you make and for erasing. We also use my pencil eraser. Use a mechanical pencil because it never is dull. I have some paper towels here. I tend to use them over and over again, so they're a bit colorful. You can use a cloth rag. That'll work, too. So whatever you have used that it's great. And the next lesson will get started practicing with some sketching, so I'll see you there. 4. Practice Sketching: before you start painting, it's a good idea to become comfortable drawing butterflies. If you're already comfortable with your drawing skills, you can skip this lesson and I'll see you in the next one. But if you need a little confidence building, drawing and sketching will help you with that. You can sketch just half of a butterfly. You can use colored pencil to capture the colors. Or, if you're really needing help, start out by tracing a butterfly. Just lay down some tracing paper on top of a photograph of a butterfly and outlined the shapes you can use pen or pencil, and by tracing the shapes, you'll get comfortable drawing those shapes on a butterfly that has complicated patterning . This could be very helpful. You can see where the different spots and lines lie on the wings, and it gives you a good way of observing the shapes and patterns. You can see firsthand that although butterflies are symmetrical, that symmetry isn't quite perfect, has in all of nature. There's never absolute perfection, which is helpful for us as artists because we'll never be able to create our own perfection either, so we don't have to worry about striving for it. But just using your pen and outlining all the shapes will help you become comfortable, and it will help you build your confidence. If you don't feel as if you're very good at drawing, this could be very helpful. If you're paper gets out of place, it's easy to put it back. Just line up your lines. This drawing doesn't have to be very detailed. It certainly doesn't have to be perfect, but it's just helping you to get a feel for the shapes and patterning. If you're ready to move on toe working with pencil on paper, doing a rough sketches in your sketchbook can be very helpful. And these rough sketches don't have to be perfect. Nothing you do has to be perfect was one of the beauties of art. You want it to reflect. You're hand, I've heard it called. It shows that a real person created this. It's not a photograph, it's drawn by hand. So just doing these sketchy drawings, taking the pencil over and over the shapes, refining the shapes, not worrying about getting things perfect, not worrying about using your eraser, this will help you gonna feel drawing is also really good for observing, taking a look at where the different patterns are on the wings. Observing the symmetry. Drawing is wonderful for observing, and the more you do, the more comfortable you'll be. So if you spend a little time with your sketchbook looking at photographs of butterflies doing some drawing, you'll get a lot more comfortable creating the shapes of butterflies from the first step. When you're doing the watercolor painting is too. Draw the outline of the butterfly so that you can then paint it. And so the more comfortable you are with your drawing, the more comfortable you will be once you're starting your painting, how often observe the photographs in my butterfly field guide and borrow patterns and colors from a number of different butterflies? So although my creation is realistic looking, it's not necessarily depicting a real butterfly. So once you have the sketchy outline of your drawing, you can go over everything with a darker line. Help finish it. One thing to remember when you're working in your sketchbook. No one has to see the sketches but you. So if you're still figuring things out, if you're still working out an idea that's okay. Things don't have to be perfect. I keep saying that over and over again, but I truly believe it. We really limit ourselves when we try to make things perfect, really. The more you do that better you'll be and the more comfortable you'll be. Your lines will be more confident you'll work more quickly. Blank page can be intimidating. You could get nervous. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. And so just working. Getting in the groove Sometimes drawing can be almost like meditation. You're very present in the moment, helps block out the outside world and other thoughts or worries. When you're really focused on creating the vein ing on the butterfly wings, we'll be painting that with a fine brush. Finishing off the details of our butterflies won't in watercolor. And so if we get comfortable knowing where the veins lie, it will be a lot easier. Although try to limit your use of the eraser, sometimes it helps to erase a little bit. It's a little hard using very fine paintbrushes, and so if we know what we want it to look like before we get started, it's a lot easier. One of the wonderful things about butterflies is that there are so many different shapes and sizes and patterns and colors. I'm demonstrating these sketches and just black pencil, but of course, you can use other media Colored pencils are nice, but I really want to show how you observe the shapes and patterns when I'm working on these butterfly sketches, looking at not only the example butterflies that I'm sketching from but also comparing one wing one side of the butterfly to the other. So I want to create balance and symmetry and harmony within the butterfly, so it looks right. One thing to help you be more successful when you're both drawing and painting is to choose butterflies with simpler shapes until you get more comfortable and more confident with your painting and you're drawing simpler shapes, simpler patterns. Here with this one, I'm observing that the bottom wings are overlapping the top wings and not the opposite. Sometimes we have preconceived notions of how something should look, and it's important to really observe, not follow along with what our brain thinks. But what was what our eyes see, So starting with a simpler design in the beginning will help you to be more successful. This butterfly has more detailed patterning, little spots and dots, and I want a dark in the dark parts just with some messy scribbles, just to give the hint that that area is dark. If we were painting this, we would paint it with the darker areas with a color that would correspond to that color. But with pencil, I just have to darken it with the graphite. So on your own, you'll want to just do as many sketches as you can become more and more comfortable with the shapes and what butterflies really look like. I found that until I really was observing their shapes and the patterns, I couldn't truly capture what they looked like, which I guess just makes sense. If you're drawing from memory, sometimes your memory is not very accurate, so it's important to always look. Look at your subject and you'll have a lot more accurate drawing. In that case, of course, you want to painter draw more fanciful designs. That's perfectly fine as well. I prefer being most of the time, being more realistic. So now that we have, don't our drawings will get on to preparing to do our paintings. I'll see you there 5. Choosing a Subject and Mixing Paint: When you're looking for a subject, the paint you want to choose, one that catches your eye. It is also fairly simple in terms of shape and pattern. So flip through images in your book from your camera, roll online and see what catches your eye and look for simple shapes, colors and patterns. Something that's a single color will be easier to paint than one that has multiple colors. I'm going to show you how I paint this blue butterfly. There's some brown, there's some black, and there's that beautiful blue will be mixing those in a minute. I also I'm going to paint this pretty red butterfly that has some brown, some rust and some black training. We'll paint that in a moment to and also I'm captured by these colors. This one has black and green, and I think we'll paint that one too. First we're gonna mix and blue for that blue butterfly. So looking at my blues, it's pretty bright blue. Something that used this. I think this is sin eeriest blue. I'm not sure about it, really pretty color that looks pretty close to the color that we're gonna want my technique using these paint watercolors is too wet. My brush slip the wet brush against the pan of color and then just to use the edge of the palette to transfer the color from the brush to the well in the palate, adding water to help get all the color off of there. That's a really nice blue. I usually like to mix my colors with something. It's like this. I think this is Cobalt Turk boys. I had a little bit of that, and that just brightened. The doctor gives it another dimension. That color I know from using it in the past, doesn't always like to mix and stay mixed when you create a color mix, so we'll see how that works. And sometimes it could be interesting results. So for this butterfly, there's also a little bit of brown and some black Number 12 It just runs off. My brush here makes the brown and I I think I'll go with this premixed form brown. This burnt sienna browns are very easy to mix, using red, blue and yellow. But Bert C. And I was a nice color. Yeah, but just toe lighten this up a little bit, so I'm going to use this a little bit of yellow, warm it up just a little more, but also like a little bit darker of a brown. I'll show you my favorite brown mix. This nearly empty well is my favorite green Russian green, and it will give you a gorgeous brown, actually, a whole series of gorgeous brown's mixed with different reds. It makes a really beautiful colors if you mix it with like a violet pinkish violet color. So I think you mix it with Scarlett. This is, I think this is Scarlett, all right. I think I want a little bit more green, clean up my brush a little bit and pick up a little more for you that could you just a really nice dark war brown trying to get all the color off my brush into the well. My mixes are always really, really wet when I first mix them, and then I will let my palate dry because I find it a lot easier to work with when the colors are dried, the main reason being that I can get darker colors that way. When is this wet? It's hard to get a good saturated dark color. Now for this black, they have it black. It's lamp black and don't worry about it. Trying to keep track the colors. We'll have all the names of the colors in the handouts. So here's the black. It's looking a bit great, actually. Might be the color that's there's still some the color left on my paintbrush. But I'm just gonna I'm gonna go for that. Just leave it. I usually like to mix other colors. Payne's gray is nice mixed with black or an indigo or other dark blue make for really nice mix. So I'm just gonna keep it basic. This is for our blue butterfly. See, now I'm gonna make some colors Are Red Butterfly. You know, the red is kind of more on me. Rusty color sign. So use this. Weren just to start out with this one is called French four million. No, it looks more orange than read to me. It's very similar and color to this scarlet These air, My three different brands that I use. We're doing the French four million here. Then I'm gonna egg some of this matter Lake grid just too deep in it. A little bit. We're also going to want to mix sort of a lighter orange color. All right, that looks nice. And then maybe a straight red. I think I'm gonna use this brown in the red butterfly from the black for the lines as well . So let's see for the orange the later orange I'll be right back. I'm gonna rinse off my brush. Okay, I'm back. I got some fresh water and my brushes rinsed. One thing I didn't mention was that when I'm mixing colors, I use a brush. That's not one of my favorite ones. That way, my favorite brushes don't get worn from mixing, cause it's a little hard on the brushes. I'm going to start with this yellow. Thanks for warm yellow. I want to make my orange my paler orange. I think I'll just take a little bit of the French four million and mix it. But then this gives us and orangey actually reminds me of catch up mixed with mustard. You know, weird had a little more of the yellow just cause I want to be able to have a little variation. It's nice to mix your colors on the page and see what happens. So for this one, since we're gonna be using the Browns and the blacks from this butterfly, the blue butterfly don't think I'm gonna mix anymore colors. So that leaves us with our last butterfly, which is the green and black one. So let's see for that one. Start out with this green. I really like this pale green. It's really versatile, I think. And I'm going to mix this with some of that sin eeriest blue that we used for the blue Just sort of deep in it up. I'm also gonna mix some yellow That's terrible. Maybe a little bit more of the green to warm it up a little, I think colors in terms of warm and cool less than the actual shade So I want yellow I'm gonna go with a brighter yellow Then that orange yellow we had and see maybe even mixed with this lemon yellow So you've got a bright yellow So when they let these colors this yellow and this green play together on car paper So let's see, I may actually just, uh, little the straight green up here. Sometimes in the smaller wells, I'll make something that I know I don't need a lot of it's nice tohave a variety and then mixed to one of them. I'm gonna mix with our warm yellow here. Yeah, There you go. So that's kind of Ah, green chartreuse color making. They could just imagine thes three colors on our paper and how they're gonna play together within dab some of them in there helps to give just a little extra interest you're paying when you let the color sort of play in mixed on the page. Since we're gonna be using black for all three of our paintings, I think I'm gonna add a little more black to this. Well, so just pick up some more color and brush it off. Scrape it off into the well. We're just going for a quick, simple colors for this class. Of course, if you're doing other butterflies or if you have different brands of paint, your color mixes will be slightly different. And that's fine. There are so many different ways to get to the colors that you want. I don't really go by any technical rule. Sort of mix color, mixing colors, mixing rules. I don't play by those rules. I just sort of go with my gut, then see what happens. Most of the time, I'm happily surprised. Sometimes things don't quite work out. All right, But most of the time, it's good. So I'm gonna let all of these colors drive it and will come back later and start working on our pain. See that? 6. Painting a Blue Butterfly: you start by sketching the basic outline of the butterfly on my watercolor paper, just using pencil, trying not to go to dark or too hard, because that will damage the paper. Once I won't do one side, I try and match that side to the other. The better your sketch is, the more successful you'll be when you go to paint, try not to race too much, cause it's rough on the paper. I'm gonna take my kneaded eraser. And if I just dabbed at the paper with the kneaded eraser that will pick up the excess graphite from the paper and lightened the lines so that it's easier to erase them and have them invisible once the painting is on the paper. So I've got my water. I got my palate. Everything's ready to go when a start by taking some clear water and covering the first top wing with the water. So I'm just going to what? The page with my brush. I'm using a fairly large brush to begin with, making sure that the section is completely covered. And now I'm gonna drop in some color, just wedding my brush with the paint en dabbing the paint onto the wet paper from the paint will fill in. It will move across the page, but I'm gonna continue adding in the wet area, smoothing out the sides a bit, making sure the whole space has some paint. I'm just dabbing and slightly moving the paint with the brush. The tip of the brush along the edge will give a smooth edge. I'm just moving the paint, stabbing in some more. Where I see it needs some. And I'm not trying to have a uniform shade. I'm going to do the other side in the same way wedding the paper first and then dabbing in paint. They have sped up the video here because I'm a fairly slow painter. Okay, now on the wing that it's still wet. I'm gonna lift up some of the paint, being careful, not toe touch the wet spots with my hand and that will just give some great Asian some texture, some interest to the wing. So dabbing in the color onto the wet paper. And as I go, I'm following my marks on the page that pencil marks. But I'm also trying to match as best I can. The 1/2 to the other half. No, I've let this dry. You contest the dryness by touching it. If it's cool, that means it's still wet. I'm gonna erase the pencil marks. You have to make sure that the paint is entirely dry before you erase, or else he may smear the paint or damage the paper. So I have erased, and I'm going to be ready to start on the bottom half of the butterfly. I like to wait until the one wing is entirely dry before a paint the bottom part of the wing, so that I don't have to worry about paint going where you don't want it or running in ways that I don't want. It just gives me more control. I do the same sort of thing. When I'm painting flowers, I will paint one pedal, let that dry before I paint adjacent pedal. Otherwise, you may just have a mess of smeared paint. So now I'm switching to a smaller brush, and I'm changing to this brown. The later brown that we made and I'm painting that bottom edge of the bottom wing where there was the brown. They wouldn't call it a stripe, but the brown coloring. Well, I'm making sure. Before I started painting the brown, I made sure that that edge was not supersaturated. There was the paint would run too much. I want to make sure that it blends a little bit, but it doesn't run. But if I take a dry brush and run it across the line the edge, it will help keep it from running. So just lifting up some more paint, giving some texture, they move on to the next wing in the same way, putting down the water before I put down the paint, touching up just a little bit on the edge of the other wing. So dropping in the color, that beautiful blue filling in the whole wing shape, moving the paint around like how there's a darkness rate where the to the top in the bottom overlap. I'm lifting up some of the paint along the edge so I can paint in the brown. Some of the brown that I'm painting is going on the dry paper, giving a smooth edge just outside of where the blue is. I'm just evening things out and blending. Now that this bottom half is dry, I will erase the bottom, making sure that my lines are all gone. And now I'm going to start some of the detail ing. I'm using a fine brush and the black paint to do the edge of the weighing this top edge, and I'm going slowly. These details with the fine brushes. They are really a Make it or break it for the painting, especially when you're using such a dark color like this black. If you're Linus too wide, you don't really have an easy way to fix that. So go slowly and build up the wits and the color. Here. I'm slowly building the shape of this curve because I want the corner of the wing. That top corner. Have a nice, smooth curve that overlaps onto the blue. Build it up slowly, adding a little bit at a time. It's better to be slow and take your time than to rush at this part of the painting, just filling it in. You can always add more paint, but especially with a dark color like this, it's not easy to take it off. Making sure, my Linus smooth. No, I haven't even finer brush. I'm gonna paint the bottom edge and the side. At this point, I'm not following directly with my example. Butterfly, I'm just seeing what looks good with what I have on the page. So one thing I haven't done much so far. Painting this butterfly is rotate my paper when I'm painting. Usually I do rotate my paper a lot. Just have the best angle for painting. It's harder to do when I have my camera set up, so that's why haven't rotated it until now. So on your own, feel free to rotate your paper as much as you need. Teoh. The joint of your wrist has its natural way of moving, and you should go with that, not work against it. Otherwise, it's just awkward. He'll be a lot more successful if you work in a comfortable position. So here I am with this small brush again doing this opposite wing, and usually I let I work left to right on the paper. For some reason, I started on the opposite side with this painting with the details. I'm not sure why. So working on this bottom wing again with the narrow brush and slow slow outlining building up the color, they have sped up the video. Otherwise we'd be here all day. But the nice thing about doing the outlining and thes painting these details is that it really gives a finished look to your painting. I paint a little dark overlap here, edging the wing, just following along with the edge and also trying to get a similar shape and outline is the other side. If it's not perfect, that's okay. As I mentioned before, symmetry in nature is not perfect. And if you're painting, isn't that's okay. So just trying to get a refined shape here. No, I'm gonna paint the fine lines inside the wings, being very careful at this point, using the very fine brush, going slowly, wanting to get as close to being symmetrical as I can with the fine brush. Sometimes it's hard to get a long continuous line because such tiny brush can't hold very much paint. So take your time with this, slowly build your lines and work with in your painting to come to a balance and harmony with your own unique rendering of your butterfly. I look to my examples for inspiration, but I also try to get as close as I can within my painting to having a nice harmony. So I'll spend a lot of time looking at the wings, seeing what the shapes are like and figuring out where my line should go because butterflies are natural. You wanna have a natural look to your painting. It's better to start out a little bit too light and build up darker. So I've sped up my recording again here just so we can get finished in a timely manner. But I am taking things slowly, just giving the basic outline of my lines, and I can go back and dark in them as I need Teoh. That one turned out pretty dark. But that's okay. Don't panic. Just add where you see you're painting could need a little bit more. I don't want to overdo it here, but the details will give you a really nice finished result. So going over the lines you've already painted with more paint can be helpful to build up the color. I didn't really talk about building up the color on the wings. If, after your first layer of paint you thought that things looked a little pale, you can always go back and add more layers, and you can do it in the same manner as we did with the first layer, going with a clear water wash and then dropping in color. That's especially nice when you're adding a different color to your painting. It'll let it spread nicely without having the colors get muddy. But with this painting, I liked the colors that we had happening. I liked the depth of color and the variations and gradations, so I did not add another layer water cannon. Color can be a little bit unpredictable at times, so you won't really know until the paper has dried. Sometimes things spread more than others. You can always go back and add more color. So here on the bottom wings, I'm trying to get a nice arrangement of veins and actually with my example photo. The veins were not very distinct, but I wanted to have more details for my painting, so I painted them darker. As I mentioned before, When you're doing your own paintings, you can use photographs as your starting point, and that will help you to keep your painting looking realistic. But you can definitely go your own way with how you finish them with the shapes and colors will still look realistic, but it won't be an exact a duplicate of the butterfly. So now I'm going to paint the body. I like my body's my butterfly bodies to be a little fuzzy looking. So I'm going to try to have get that look when I add the paint. And here I'm just adding the paint to the dry paper. I'm sort of blotting it in to give it a bit of a fuzzy look at it. A little more water dropped in a little black on top of that dark brown. And here I'm blotting and lifting slightly dabbing the paper with my brush to give a nice texture to our butterfly body. Make it dimensional looking. And then here come the intently, using a very fine brush, going slowly like the look of slightly asymmetrical, especially with antennae. All right, in here we are in the next lesson will paint another butterfly. See you there 7. Painting a Red Butterfly: my butterflies already drawn on my watercolor paper, and I've already dabbed the page with my kneaded eraser. So the first step is to add the Clearwater to the first wing, making sure the whole space is covered evenly. Now we'll take this dark reddish orange and drop in the color, making sure all of the wing has paint moving and blending the pain, creating the smooth edge. Drop in some of that lighter orange and also some brown on the edge here have sped up the video for the sake of time, but you should still be able to see all of the steps here switched to a smaller brush. And now I'm just blending the colors. The brown along the edge, a darker reddish orange. Later orange. I wanna have the colors blend but also have some striations, some Grady INTs to give interest in texture to the butterfly. We'll do the same thing here on the opposite wing, heading the water to the page and making sure it's entirely covered and then adding the paint, using the tip of the brush to create the edges and dropping and more color as needed, smoothing it out, moving it around the page. The tip of your brush will give you a nice smooth edge. You want to have a smooth edge. You can refine the shape while the paint is wet. Like this moves the pain around. Adjust the shape, adding more color. The later orange changed to a smaller brush and add some of the brown. The color difference between the two angles of the cameras are really due to the lighting, so I'm sorry if it looks different. So just keep working and know that the top wings air dry. Gonna add the water to the page for the bottom wings, doing them one at a time because they're not touching. You could do both sides at the same time, but I find that it's better to do them one at a time because that way you don't accidentally put your hand in wet paint. That's on the other part of the paper, and it just helps you to take your time and make sure that the paint stays the rate consistency, the right wetness for you to work. It had some of the lighter color and blended in drop in some of the darker, orangey brown that first brown that I mixed sort of in the same space that the brown work on the blue butterfly is. But I wanted to blend a little bit more to bleed into blend. I had some war. You don't want the color to be uniform. You want to have an organic feel working on the second bottom wing. You can see they're still a little red on my brush, but since we're going to be painting red on top of it, that's OK. If you were painting vastly different colors, you'll want to make sure that your brush is thoroughly rinsed and clean. So we'll just do the same exact thing on this side. Heading in the paint colors one by one, blending them, moving the colors around, working on refining the edge in the shape, I thought, The brown We've got the later orange, the darker reddish orange. Just keep adding until you're happy with it. Okay, now that it's dry were somewhat dry, I'm gonna add the body. It's dry enough that I can pain in the body and not worry about the color bleeding into the damp areas. Painting in the body with both are colors of Brown, working in a similar way to the other butterfly we painted stabbing the paint, refining the body shape. One thing I didn't really talk about was the fact that, although a sketch out the wings of the butterfly when I'm painting, I don't sketch the body. They do that entirely with paint, so I'm adding layer after layer of paint here and getting some texture with the tip of the brush for finding the shape of the head can play with it asl long as it's wet like this. All right. Now it's time for the antennae helping with this brown, a dark brown and a very fine brush doing one sign and then the other going back as needed, heading more painters needed. Now I'm going to do the edges of this butterfly. The edges of the wings, as I mentioned before, be sure to move your paper as much as you need to. E. Haven't really done that much while demonstrating these paintings just because it's a little awkward with the cameras set up. They're a bit in the way, but move your page as much as you need to. Don't think that you need to keep it still or in one spot. I'm always turning me paper. You want to be the most comfortable you can now with this edge and with any fine details. You just want to take your time. Go slowly at the paint a little bit at a time. You should be in no hurry. You can go back, and darkened areas or smooth out lines has a little more shaping more coloring, as you need to from the bottom. Here. I'm going to keep it very thin, a very thin line, and you can change directions when you're painting line. Oops, just dab any paint off the page when it's what like that, and it shouldn't leave a stain. If it does, leave some color behind you can add some clean water and keep dabbing until you've removed your stain. So just work on Well, you want to work on one side at a time. You can go back and refine the other lines as you go. We're match them up as much as you can. Have a nice uniform. Look, I'm gonna paint the interior vein ing on these wings with a very fine brush. Sometimes I can't decide which angle to go at the painting, and they'll have to change it around a bit. That's okay. Just make sure you're comfortable as you're working again with ease. Fine brushes you'll have toe continuously. Add paint because of a small tip does not hold a lot of paint. Although I'm looking at the model photograph of the Butterfly, I'm really working within the confines of what is on the page because I want to have harmony. I want the vein ing to fit with the coloring and the shape that has evolved with this painting. So I'm going by feel keeping a realistic look. And although I mentioned when I was mixing the paint that I was going to have black vein ing, this is actually the dark brown that I'm using to paint the veins. And I'm thinking that although the top wings have a dark brown for their vain ing, I'm probably going to use some lighter brown on the bottom. They want to the top veins to be more distinct than the bottom veins. And when you're doing your own butterflies, the choice is entirely yours. If you wanted to be ultra realistic or if you want to be more fanciful if you want to add your own kinds of details. See, I'm mixing some of the dark brown into the lighter brown and painting my veins. I want them to be. I want them to be there more for a textural element. I don't want them to be very obvious late and delicate. I really like how these colors have dried and flowed. You're never really sure how they're gonna change as they dry the different color mixtures of the vein ing. And I think we're just about done. Just a couple more lines here and there's our Red Butterfly, and the next lesson I will paint another one, see it there. 8. Painting a Green Butterfly: This is the last butterfly, but I will demonstrate. I thought the shape drawn on the paper already. And I'm just adding the water to the first wing, making sure the whole shape is covered evenly smoothing out the water. Now I'm going to start heading the color and I want the greens and the yellow to play together on the page so some areas will be darker. Some will be warmer, some will be more green. Some will be more yellow. So I'm just adding these various colors, letting the mix letting one dominate in one area and another and another. And I'm also going to be putting black in here, so that will change the way it looks. Moving on to the second wing wedding. The page. I'm gonna fix that corner and so just doing the same sort of thing on the other wing and trying to mimic the color distribution on the first wing. But I'm also okay if there's some differences. This is an organic shape, organic pattering. I'm adding the black while the first wing is still wet. So some of the black paint is going to spread. If you move your paintbrush quickly across the edge without stopping. Then the paint will not pool and spread. It'll spread a little bit. You can see here. I'm going more slowly, and so it spreads a little more into the wet paint, which is what I want. Here. I want a little bit of it to spread, so adding more paint, refining the shape. If you do this when the paper is too wet and the paint is too wet, it's going to spread entirely across the wet area. I'm also working the black onto some of the dry paper, have a smooth black edge and refine the shape. My butterfly example had a lot more black than my painting is gonna have. We want more of the green and yellow to show through. So moving on to the second wing, this this part can be a little bit stressful. When you're trying to match the one side to the other, you're never quite sure if the paint is going to spread in the same way. If the paper is in exactly the same state of wetness, so sometimes when you're working like this, it's not gonna work out. But that's okay. You can always try again. So I'm noticing that these wings air not quite the same shape. So I'm going to try and even them out a little bit. That's, um, one of the things I do when I'm painting butterflies, I start with the basic design, and then I refine it as I go trying match one side to the other as best I can, but also knowing that even in nature there are some imperfections. Symmetry isn't exact right now, working on the bottom wings once the top or dry. Remember, we don't want to have the paint go in areas we have already painted because I like the way the colors have spread on the top. So again, in the same manner, the bottom wings are going to be green with a yellow, the colors mixing and then also some bad black. And on the bottom, the black is gonna be more of a border, with less of the color intruding into the shape. So actually, I really like how there are some differences in how the color moves in. Each of these wings just gives the butterfly sense of individuality. It's just one of the natures of watercolor because the paint and the paper. You have some control over it, and some of it is out of your control. So it's kind of nice to relinquish your control to a degree and see where things take you so I can always add color as needed. Adjust things, starting here with the black, and I'm working on both wings just like I did with the top, adding the edging, having some of it overlap into the green and then just love the way it looks When the paint is spreading some very beautiful effects, this butterfly looks a bit tied. I'd actually so just adding more as I go along and then moving on to the other side. If you're paint is dryer and your paper is drier, then when you add the black, it's not going to spread as much. So you have to make sure that you are doing this while the paper is still wet. But as I said, not too wet or else it's gonna spread all over and you'll just have one big mess. So it's nice to be able to just the edges with your black paint because you can paint on the dry paper and increase the size and changed the shape of it, just like I did on the top, just adding a bit. Those colors are so dramatic. Okay, so now that this is dry, I'm saying there's a little gap on the right side. So I'm gonna add a little bit of green in there and just overlap it into the color that's already there. And it should be okay at a little black on the bottom and on the top edge just to fix that hole. So the next step is to draw some vain ing. Some paint, some meaning. It's almost like drawing with your very fine paintbrush. And here I'm really going to look at the wings themselves and see where I think I need the veins to go. I've strayed fairly far away from my example photograph, and I'm just going to go with what I think looks right, taking a look at some of other some of the other butterflies, seeing where their veins are and comparing that to my paper and just painting them in. So I'll just keep turning my page, looking at it from different angles, comparing one side to another this is a really fun part. Putting the finishing touches, the last details of your painting to really make it look finished trying to decide where the lines should go. Can you want to take your time and not rush things? You make little adjustments. If your lines aren't perfect, had more paint smooth in the paint that you have already put on? I don't want too many lines here just enough to give the finished details to our butterfly , comparing one side to another looking for holes and then the last step is to paint in the body. So this one, um, is gonna have some black, but also near the bottom. It's going to be a lot lighter, so I'm gonna paint some yellow and have the yellow and the black blend so the colors are gonna bleed into one another. Push that black paint back up and dab at it, and here I don't use a lot of white, but it's nice to drop some white into the butterfly body to give it up a mat look and a look that is somewhat milky and cloudy. And now the antennae with the fine, fine brush, starting with the top little part and adding the longer parts. I just need a few more details on the body, some edging on the bottom half. Maybe some lines here. Just a few last details dropping in a little bit more black on the top, blending it, pulling up a little bit of the paint. And here we have our last butterfly. The next lesson. I'll talk about your butterflies, I'll see you there. 9. Your Project: I hope you're ready to begin sketching and painting some butterflies of your own for your class project, paying at least one watercolor butterfly and share a photo of it in the project section of this class. After you finished your painting, you may want to frame it and hang it on your wall, or you can take it into the general ground and have products printed with your image in the hand out. You'll find some suggestions for companies that will print products and fabric with your designs. Thanks so much for taking this class. I hope you've enjoyed sketching and painting with me. See you next time.